Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Diary of a travel-a-holic

We've had quite the run of long weekends recently, sadly now come to an end...sniff sniff. Anyway, one of the many benefits of this run of extra relax time is that I have been able to finally finish off my Vietnam holiday diaries. This is a personal project I was definitely going to finish by the end of 2011, then definitely by Easter. So 2 weeks after Easter isn't that bad.

I'm a bit of a diarist. I try to keep one – a proper, written, what I did and how I felt diary – every day but it is a lot more work than you might think. On holidays though, I'm much better at it. There is that gap in time pretty much every day when you've got back to your apartment / room after a long day out and you're having a rest before heading out again for food or drink of whatever it is you're getting up to, that is just perfect for writing about the day. So much happens on the typical holiday day and I find that you forget almost all of it within a few months. If you have a diary though, written on the day to record all those conversations and sights and meals and anecdotes, you have a physical memory repository you can pull off the shelf at any time and remind yourself of an amazing day.

This is actually a habit I picked up from my Dad who keeps an amazing record of every holiday he takes, and one of my favourite things to do used to be to pick a family diary off the shelves and read al about what we did when I was 5 in Spain or the Christmas in Germany when I was 12. It helps me to recall even the vaguest of memories.

So, I finally finished my Vietnam diary. Held up by the fact that 2 days into our three week trip my little iPaq died and I had to take notes or hand-write the whole thing, then translate to computer doc etc. I printed all my photos, I bought a couple of scrap books and voila! Here is the final result:

The two finished diaries. Not for public consumption.

I would be fibbing if I didn't say I wasn't a little proud of myself. It costs a lot of time and a bit of money to make even just these two (big) books. But then in 20 years time they will still be sitting on my bookshelves, where ever I happen to be, and I can pull them down and flick through them and remember our walk through the valley near Sa Pa and the amazing street food in Ha Noi as if it was yesterday. That makes it worth every moment and every cent.

12 diaries and a lot of memories.

Does anyone else keep a diary? Even just for holidays?

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